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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (5)
Articles by W. Ryan Williamson in JoVE
Preparation of Developing and Adult Drosophila Brains and Retinae for Live Imaging
W. Ryan Williamson, P. Robin Hiesinger
Department of Physiology and Green Center for Systems Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
This protocol describes three Drosophila preparations: 1) adult brain dissection, 2) adult retina dissection and 3) developing eye disc- brain complexes dissection. Emphasis is laid on special preparation techniques and conditions for live imaging, although all preparations can be used for fixed tissue immunohistochemistry.
Other articles by W. Ryan Williamson on PubMed
Science Signaling. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18460681
Gradients of secreted small morphogenic molecules control cell proliferation and patterning throughout animal development. Recent years have seen the discovery of surprising roles for morphogens in later developmental processes, including axon pathfinding and synaptogenesis. The latest addition is a role for the TGF-beta superfamily morphogen Activin in synaptic patterning of the Drosophila visual system. In contrast to classical instructive and long-range morphogen gradients, Activin acts as a permissive and local motility restriction signal around several hundred individual photoreceptor axon terminals. Activin must therefore act in concert with other instructively attracting and repelling signals as part of a larger genetic program for brain wiring.
A Dual Function of V0-ATPase A1 Provides an Endolysosomal Degradation Mechanism in Drosophila Melanogaster Photoreceptors
The Journal of Cell Biology. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20513768
The vesicular adenosine triphosphatase (v-ATPase) is a proton pump that acidifies intracellular compartments. In addition, mutations in components of the membrane-bound v-ATPase V0 sector cause acidification-independent defects in yeast, worm, fly, zebrafish, and mouse. In this study, we present a dual function for the neuron-specific V0 subunit a1 orthologue v100 in Drosophila melanogaster. A v100 mutant that selectively disrupts proton translocation rescues a previously characterized synaptic vesicle fusion defect and vesicle fusion with early endosomes. Correspondingly, V100 selectively interacts with syntaxins on the respective target membranes, and neither synaptic vesicles nor early endosomes require v100 for their acidification. In contrast, V100 is required for acidification once endosomes mature into degradative compartments. As a consequence of the complete loss of this neuronal degradation mechanism, photoreceptors undergo slow neurodegeneration, whereas selective rescue of the acidification-independent function accelerates cell death by increasing accumulations in degradation-incompetent compartments. We propose that V100 exerts a temporally integrated dual function that increases neuronal degradative capacity.
Guidance Receptor Degradation is Required for Neuronal Connectivity in the Drosophila Nervous System
PLoS Biology. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21151882
Axon pathfinding and synapse formation rely on precise spatiotemporal localization of guidance receptors. However, little is known about the neuron-specific intracellular trafficking mechanisms that underlie the sorting and activity of these receptors. Here we show that loss of the neuron-specific v-ATPase subunit a1 leads to progressive endosomal guidance receptor accumulations after neuronal differentiation. In the embryo and in adult photoreceptors, these accumulations occur after axon pathfinding and synapse formation is complete. In contrast, receptor missorting occurs sufficiently early in neurons of the adult central nervous system to cause connectivity defects. An increase of guidance receptors, but not of membrane proteins without signaling function, causes specific gain-of-function phenotypes. A point mutant that promotes sorting but prevents degradation reveals spatiotemporally specific guidance receptor turnover and accelerates developmental defects in photoreceptors and embryonic motor neurons. Our findings indicate that a neuron-specific endolysosomal degradation mechanism is part of the cell biological machinery that regulates guidance receptor turnover and signaling.
Communicative & Integrative Biology. Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21331254
Defective autophagy and lysosomal degradation are hallmarks of numerous neurodegenerative disorders. Vesicular ATPases are intracellular proton pumps that acidify autophagosomes and lysosomes. V0a1 is a key component of the v-ATPase that is only required in neurons in Drosophila melanogaster. We have recently shown that loss of V0a1 in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons leads to slow, adult-onset degeneration.1 Concurrently, Lee et al.2 reported that V0a1 fails to localize to lysosomal compartments in cells from Presenilin 1 knock-out cells. Together these two reports suggest that a neuronal V0a1-dependent degradation mechanism may be causally linked to Alzheimer pathology. Indeed, we now show that loss of V0a1 makes Drosophila neurons more susceptible to insult with human Alzheimer-related neurotoxic Aβ and tau proteins. Furthermore, we discuss the potential significance of the discovery of the neuron-specific degradation mechanism in Drosophila for intracellular degradation defects in Alzheimer Disease.
The Synaptic Vesicle SNARE Neuronal Synaptobrevin Promotes Endolysosomal Degradation and Prevents Neurodegeneration
The Journal of Cell Biology. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22270918
Soluble NSF attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) are the core proteins in membrane fusion. The neuron-specific synaptic v-SNARE n-syb (neuronal Synaptobrevin) plays a key role during synaptic vesicle exocytosis. In this paper, we report that loss of n-syb caused slow neurodegeneration independent of its role in neurotransmitter release in adult Drosophila melanogaster photoreceptor neurons. In addition to synaptic vesicles, n-Syb localized to endosomal vesicles. Loss of n-syb lead to endosomal accumulations, transmembrane protein degradation defects, and a secondary increase in autophagy. Our evidence suggests a primary defect of impaired delivery of vesicles that contain degradation proteins, including the acidification-activated Cathepsin proteases and the neuron-specific proton pump and V0 adenosine triphosphatase component V100. Overexpressing V100 partially rescued n-syb-dependent degeneration through an acidification-independent endosomal sorting mechanism. Collectively, these findings reveal a role for n-Syb in a neuron-specific sort-and-degrade mechanism that protects neurons from degeneration. Our findings further shed light on which intraneuronal compartments exhibit increased or decreased neurotoxicity.